The cyber space is getting dangerous as The cyber security experts have found 504 new threats were populated in the cyber space every minute in the first quarter of 2019. Experts noticed a revival in ransomware attacks as cyber criminals come out with innovations.

McAfee Labs, in its latest Threats Report for the first quarter, said ransomware samples have gone up by 118 per cent, with cyber criminals adopting new tactics and code innovations. “More than 220 crore billion stolen account credentials available on the cyber underground. New coin mining malware increased by 29 per cent,” the report said.

“The impact of these threats is very real,” Raj Samani, McAfee fellow and chief scientist, has said. “It’s important to recognise that the numbers, highlighting increases or decreases of certain types of attacks, only tell a fraction of the story. Every infection is another business dealing with outages, or a consumer facing major fraud. We must not forget for every cyber attack, there is a human cost,” he said.

McAfee analyses threat data collected by the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence cloud from over a billion sensors across multiple threat vectors across the world.

Ransomware Resurgence

The report found new innovations in ransomware campaigns, with shifts in initial access vectors, campaign management and technical innovations in the code. “While spear-phishing remained popular, ransomware attacks increasingly targeted exposed remote access points, such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). These credentials can be cracked through a brute-force attack or bought on the cyber underground. RDP credentials can be used to gain admin privileges, granting full rights to distribute and execute malware on corporate networks,” the report said.

The most active ransomware families of the quarter appeared to be Dharma (also known as Crysis), GandCrab, Ryuk and Anatova. “Paying ransoms encourages criminal businesses and perpetuates attacks. There are other options such as decryption tools,” Christiaan Beek, McAfee lead scientist, said.

Bitcoin wallets

The report found an increase of 29 per cent in new coin mining malware. CookieMiner malware is targeting Apple users, attempting to obtain bitcoin wallets credentials. As a by-product, the malware also gained access to passwords and browsing data.

The IoT (Internet of Things) devices continue to attract hackers. Total IoT malware grew 154 per cent over the past four quarters.